Business Basics for Voice Actors

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    Join professional voice talent Alison Pitman in the first of her “Business Basics for Voice Actors” podcasts. Alison highlights aspects of business processes and implementation from the perspective of a working voice actor in the United Kingdom.

    Download Podcast Episode 50 »

    Tags:

    Alison Pitman, UK Female Voice, Business, Voiceovers, Basics, Voice Overs, Voice Acting

    Transcript of Business Basics for Voice Actors

    [Opening Music]
    Julie-Ann Dean: Welcome to Voiceover Experts brought to you by Voices.com, the number one voiceover marketplace. Voiceover Experts brings you tips, pearls of wisdom and techniques from top instructors, authors and performers in the field of voiceover. Join us each week to discover tricks of the trade that will help you to develop your craft and prosper as a career voiceover talent. It’s never been easier to learn, perform, and succeed from the privacy of your own home and your own pace. This is truly an education you won’t find anywhere else.
    Now for our special guest.
    Alison Pitman: Hello, my name is Alison Pitman and welcome to the first of my occasional series of podcast on various business aspects for voiceover talents and businesses.
    Firstly, I am assuming that you are in business and voiceover is than just a hobby to you. It’s important to get into the professional mindset as it will subconsciously influence your manner of communications and it will give you credibility both in your mind and more importantly, in the minds of other. So you’ve set yourself up in business as a voiceover artist. Now what?
    The voiceover business is no different to any other online or offline business. All need to be concerned and involved with marketing, sales, finance, administration, branding, websites and so on and so on. Auditioning is a process that’s really no different to a construction company for example tendering for a building project. The key for any business is closing the deal, making the sale, getting your voice chosen for that project. In all these situations, communication is critical and can mean the difference between getting cast or not.
    In the online world, how you communicate and the way you present yourself through these communications especially through the medium of e-mail is really important.
    Firstly, speed of response. So what company has found you website, listened to your online demos and likes what they hear. They send you an e-mail, requesting further information, maybe a quote or request for your rate card, they hit send and then what? Put yourself in their shoes. This maybe the first time they have ever outsourced a project before. They have not met you in person before. All the know of you is your online presence. They want to know are you still in business.
    A clue to that maybe is whether they see that your website gets updated on a regular basis, maybe you have a last updated date on your website to show visitors. They also need to know has their e-mail got through to you. One possibility is to set up and auto response on your e-mail program, include a message thanking them for their interest and that you’ll be in touch as soon as possible. That gives them the reassurance that the e-mail has got through and to the right person.
    Once they know you actually exist and their e-mail has arrived, they’ll be waiting for your response. Again, a prompt response is really appreciated. Although not so prompt that you forget to include all the information they are after. Make sure the manner of your response is professional but also in keeping with your own branding. Does your voice come through your writing? And also consider the company that you are corresponding to. For example, my voice is often used for corporate training narrations and therefore the branding of my voice leads towards the straightforward, matter-of-fact, authoritative edge and the companies that contact me tend to reflect this. They lean towards a more corporate, conservative structure so they appreciate a correspondence style that is similar to their own whereas if your signature voice is more laid-back and relaxed in nature, maybe your communications should reflect this more.
    Obviously, there is a balancing act to follow. It’s just something to keep in mind. Don’t get too casual or they may not take you as a serious professional and worst-case scenario tried to beat your rates down but on the other hand, don’t be so formal as to alienate people.
    Remember, people want to do business with people they like and people they like are like them. You want to create relationships with clients and maintain them so they keep coming back for more. Whichever style you correspond, they key is to persuade this company that they want to work with you and your voice. They need to feel and you need to make them feel that they are in the best of hands, that they can trust you to deliver what they’re after not just in terms of interpreting the copy but the delivery of the audio file in the format they need, in the time scale you’ve promised and the budget you’ve set.
    Again, if this is the firs time they’ve worked with a voiceover artist, through your e-mail communications, you need to hold their hand and walk them through the process so it’s as a painless as possible. Believe me, it is really appreciated by your clients. And hopefully if you deliver all that you promise in a manner they relate to, they will not only use your voice again, but also recommend you to other business associates.
    Well, thank you for listening and I do hope you found at least some of it interesting. If you would like further information or to contact me, please visit my website at ThePhoneVoice.com. Bye for now.
    Julie-Ann Dean: Thank you for joining us. To learn more about the special guest featured in this Voices.com podcast, visit the Voiceover Experts show notes at Podcasts.Voices.com/VoiceoverExperts. Remember to stay subscribed.
    If you’re a first time listener, you can subscribe for free to this podcast in the Apple iTunes Podcast Directory or by visiting Podcasts.Voices.com. To start your voiceover career online, go to Voices.com and register for a voice talent membership today.
    [Closing Music]

    Links from today’s show:

    Alison Pitman
    Alison Pitman on Voices.com

    Your Instructor this week:

    Voice Over Talent Alison Pitman

    Alison PitmanBased in Bristol, voice actor Alison Pitman has voiced various projects for clients based all over the world recording professionally from her home studio in the UK. Known as “The Phone Voice”, Alison specializes in recordings for voicemail, on-hold messages, IVR and corporate narrations. Alison has worked for over 10 years in the film and television industries and played a role in the Oscar nominated “Little Voice”. In addition to her performance experience Alison Pitman has a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

    Did you enjoy Alison’s episode? Leave a comment with your thoughts!

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    Stephanie Ciccarelli is the Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer of Voices.com. Classically trained in voice, piano, violin and musical theatre, as well as a respected mentor and industry speaker, Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario. Possessing a great love for imparting knowledge and empowering others, her podcast Sound Stories serves an audience that wants to achieve excellence in storytelling. Stephanie is found on the PROFIT Magazine W100 list three times (2013, 2015 and 2016), a ranking of Canada's top female entrepreneurs, and is the author of Voice Acting for Dummies®.

    5 COMMENTS

    1. Alison’s Voice-Over Experts business-related podcast episode was one of the most valuable episodes of Voice-Over Experts to date! Excellent. Thanks Alison for sharing the tips. I would say this is a “must listen” for all voice actors!
      Wayne

    2. If you want to make a living doing VO, then you must treat it as a business – not a hobby. You have to have a combination of Talent, Marketing, Business and (now) Technology skills.
      Thanks Alison – well done and well presented.

    3. Really nice presentation Alison. Clearly received and informative!
      I love your “mindset” comment – a good point indeed. I’ll look forward to your next podcast here at Voices.com
      Cheers!
      Blair Wilson

    4. Dear Wayne, Connie, Blair & Julie-Ann,
      Wow , what can I say ! Thank you all so much for your kind comments – to have feedback from some true VO Pros is really fantastic!
      I’m hoping the 2nd podcast will be out soon, so keeping my fingers crossed that it will be as well received as this one has been so far…
      Thank you all again for taking the time to write your comments – it really is appreciated!
      Alison

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